Citation management

Citation managers are used to organize citation information and notes. Libraries experts can help select and use the right citation manager.

About citation managers

Citation managers are software packages used to create personalized databases of citation information and notes. They allow you to:

  • import and organize citation information from article indexes and other sources,
  • save pdfs and other documents,
  • format citations for your papers and bibliographies using APA, MLA, Chicago, Vancouver, and many other styles, and
  • include your own notes.

Get help choosing and using citation managers

Guide: Introduction to Citation Managers

Choose a citation manager

Citation manager experts at the University Libraries support EndNote, Mendeley, Zotero, and BibTex.

Explore the citation managers below, contact us for support, or attend a workshop

Related resources


Get Zotero

Zotero features

Free. Pay for more PDF storage.
Many citation styles
Works with
Microsoft Word, Google Docs
300 MB free
PDF reader
Unlimited groups and citation sharing
Extend Zotero with many useful 3rd party plug-ins

Zotero support

EndNote and EndNote Online

EndNote Desktop is a powerful citation manager that will allow you to organize large quantities of references for many projects. EndNote Online works either in conjunction with EndNote Desktop for collaboration or as a free stand-alone tool.

Get EndNote

EndNote features

  EndNote Desktop EndNote Online
Cost $115 (students)
$249.99 (non-students)
Styles Many citation styles All major styles
Works with Microsoft Word Microsoft Word
Storage Unlimited 50,000 references and 2GB file storage
PDF reader Yes No
Sharing Share libraries, groups, and citations with up to 100 collaborators Share citations and libraries with other EndNote users

EndNote support

Connecting EndNote to FindIt

You can link your EndNote account to the University of Minnesota’s FindIt system and access the full text articles to which the University Libraries subscribe.

  • Select Editon the top EndNote menu and select Preferences.
  • On the left panel of the preferences menu that appears, select Find Full Text.
  • In the OpenURL Path enter
  • In the URL box under Authenticate With, enter
  • Hit Apply to save your changes

Known issues

EndNote and Mendeley Word plug-in compatibility

There is a known issue with EndNote working properly with Word when Mendeley is also installed on the computer. Having both running may cause problems with the Word plug-ins, with citations not being formatted when using EndNote with Word.

In order for EndNote to work properly, uncheck the box for the Mendeley Word add-in. For instructions, see the EndNote & Mendeley Word plug-in incompatibility work-around.


Mendeley is in the process of redesigning their software and there are now two versions of the program. Users of both programs are experiencing issues with compatibility and stability.  We recognize that there are many Mendeley users on campus and provide these guides and one-on-one consultations for support. Because of all the known issues with Mendeley Desktop, Mendeley Reference Manager, and Mendeley Cite, we do not currently recommend using Mendeley as a citation manager if you are just getting started. Instead, we recommend Zotero as a free option that is similar in functionality and much more stable. 

Some known issues are:

The former version of Mendeley, Mendeley Desktop and Cite-o-matic, are not supported in macOS 10.15 (Catalina) or macOS 11 (Big Sur).

Users that have downloaded the University of Minnesota OIT version of Office365 are unable to install the new Mendeley Cite. The add-in is blocked by the University of Minnesota for security reasons.

Users of Cite-o-matic may get error messages when opening or operating in MS Word.

Get Mendeley

Mendeley features

Free. Pay for more PDF storage.
Many citation styles
Works with
Microsoft Word
2GB free
PDF reader
PDF sharing limited to 5 groups; unlimited citation sharing

Mendeley support


BibTeX is a bibliographic software program that is used in conjunction with the LaTeX typesetting software. You can use BibTeX to organize your references and create a bibliography within a document created with LaTeX.

  • BibTeX creates a bibliography file and each reference within the file is given a unique "key."
  • References are added to LaTeX by pointing to those keys.
  • References can be stored in any of the common citation managers and then output in a BibTeX format for addition to your BibTeX bibliography file.

How to use BibTex

This introductory BibTeX video  introduces you to the basics of using BibTeX to add references to a paper being written in LaTeX. For more information, explore the Wikibook chapter on using BibTeX with LaTeX.

Instructions for using BibTeX with other citation managers